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Dr Albrey Arrington standing and Dr Julie Olson
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Dr. Albrey Arrington (standing) and Dr. Julie Olson

June 11, 2010
Dr. Albrey Arrington (standing) and Dr. Julie Olson, faculty from the department of biological sciences at the University of Alabama, are shown at the Sipsey River floodplain in west-central Alabama.

The Sipsey River field site is one of several used for research by Ph.D. students enrolled in the Freshwater Sciences Interdisciplinary Doctoral program, a collaborative effort between the Universities of Alabama and New Mexico and funded by the National Science Foundation's Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) program. [One of three related images. See Next Image.]

More about this Image The purpose of the freshwater sciences program is to provide Ph.D. students with the opportunity to prepare for careers that will effectively address the issue of how to maintain high quality fresh water in the 21st century. The program emphasizes interdisciplinary areas of aquatic ecology, environmental geology and hydrology.

Both of the participating universities have a designated field site where students can take samples and perform field research. The sites are located at similar latitudes but with contrasting humid/wet and semi-arid climates. Students are able to broaden their perspectives by designing components of their dissertation research that are cross-regional and that allow them to explore similarities and differences in approaches and questions in geographic regions with distinctly different climates.

The students investigate ecological, hydrological and geochemical attributes of streams, rivers and ground waters of the Mobile River and Middle Rio Grande basins. They form links with organizations like the South Florida Water Management District, Everglades National Park, the Nature Conservancy and the Bosque Improvement Group, which are involved in large-scale management and restoration of major southeastern and southwestern freshwater ecosystems. Students and faculty from both universities confer and meet regularly, share research results and compare field research. (Year of image: 2002)


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